by Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel
The Elements of Journalism delineates the core principles shared by journalists across media, even across cultures. These principles flow from the essential function news plays in people's lives. This new edition, published April 2007, is completely updated and revised and includes a new 10th principle--the rights and responsibilities of citizens--flowing from new power conveyed by technology to the citizen as a consumer and editor of their own news and information.
Lessons and ideas from The Elements of Journalism form the basis of CCJ's Traveling Curriculum newsroom training program.
A quick overview of the elements of journalism Kovach and Rosenstiel propose:
- Journalism's first obligation is to the truth.
- Its first loyalty is to citizens.
- Its essence is a discipline of verification.
- Its practitioners must maintain an independence from those they cover.
- It must serve as an independent monitor of power.
- It must provide a forum for public criticism and compromise.
- It must strive to make the significant interesting and relevant.
- It must keep the news comprehensive and proportional.
- Its practitioners have an obligation to exercise their personal conscience.
- Citizens, too, have rights and responsibilities when it comes to the news.